Old habits are hard to break – accountability is key to beating procrastination

Beating procrastination can be hard. We do well for a few days, but then old habits set back in, or we get frustrated with our lack of apparent progress. Nothing goes fast enough. If you face a small setback at this point, it may be enough to stop working on what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Thankfully there’s something you can do to greatly improve your chances of success. Accountability.

Procrastinating is a habit and you can get out of it and turn yourself into the motivated and productive version of yourself you want to be. Click To Tweet

Track Your Progress 

Start by tracking what you do. You can do this via a simple habit tracker. Use a box for each day of the week and check it off or fill it in when you do the thing you told yourself you would do. Keep tracking until it becomes a habit or until the project is done.

For larger projects that you may or may not work on a daily basis, it helps to write down your goal and then break it into milestones. Record your progress and how much closer you’re inching to each of your goals.

Make Daily To-Do Lists 

Write out a list of everything you want to get done for the day. I find it helpful to do this the day before. Play around with how many items you put on that list. You don’t want it to overwhelm you, but you do want to challenge yourself to get more done. The list holds you accountable because you can see in black and white if you procrastinated or not.

Tell Someone About Your Plans 

If there’s something you’ve been struggling to get done, tell someone else about your plans to finally tackle it. Call a friend, tell your spouse, or announce it on social media. Encourage the people you’re sharing with to check back with you on how you did. It may be the little extra push you need to stop procrastinating.

Find An Accountability Buddy 

Last but not least, find someone else who’s procrastinating and start holding each other accountable. This could be as simple as checking in once in the morning to declare what you each want to get done, and then again at the end of the day to see what happened. Knowing someone else is right there with you can be super motivating.

Give each of these procrastination beating strategies a try and see which ones give you the best results. Like anything else, procrastinating is a habit and you can get out of it and turn yourself into the motivated and productive version of yourself you want to be.

Need help being accountable? Set up a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment to help you stop procrastinating 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter in your, home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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Comments

  1. If you’ve been a procrastinator for a long time, it isn’t easy to just change your ways. I think having an accountability partner is such a great idea. I started exercising with someone twice a week years ago, and it really has helped me keep up. We still do yoga two times a week, even though she moved away (we do it virtually with one another!)

  2. Having an accountability method – whether you tell a friend or have an accountability partner is so important. It’s hard to slack off or away from doing something when you know that you will have to say what you have done or not done.

    • It is really important to talk about what you want to do. It makes it easier to work on the project so you have more information to pass on in the next conversation. That conversation can be with anyone at anytime. I agree with you the method is important.

  3. Procrastination can be very difficult to master for anyone. All of us have succumbed to it at some point in our lives.

    I really like your tip about making lists, “Write out a list of everything you want to get done for the day. I find it helpful to do this the day before.” It makes whatever it is we are procrastinating on much more manageable.

    • I make a list everyday and it helps me to get things completed. However, I do have a chance to procrastinate by leaving certain things off the list. I think I need to start putting one harder to get done at the top of the list every day.

    • You raise a very good point making sure we know what we did and not getting it confused with what we want to do. Patting ourselves on the back for having great ideas is good to a certain point. Taking action is the most important part. Schedule it to get it done.

  4. Tracking my progress is SO important for me. I have an Outlook Task that pops up at the end of the month where I record, in bullet point format, what I accomplished that month for each of the goals I set this year. It is amazing how accountable that makes me feel…and proud!

    • I think sometimes we don’t take enough pride in how much we accomplish. Being a successful business owner is not easy. Make sure to record all the small and large accomplishments, not just the notable ones. Thanks for the tip about using Outlook.

  5. I’m motivated visually and tracking progress is fantastic way to physically see the improvement, especially if it’s slow. Having an accountability partner is another game changer. If you choose the right person, they can give you that little Jumpstart on off days. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Accountability is kind of the magic wand of procrastination. One of the things I’ve noticed with virtual organizing is how well the accountability piece works. Because sessions are shorter and more frequent, with touchpoints between sessions, accountability plays a larger factor in the work and their progress. It’s easier to notice when changes aren’t working or habits are slipping and do a course correct. All of the procrastination strategies you shared are terrific!

    • I had an accountability partner when I started my business. It really helped me to get over the fear of doing some tasks because next week I would need to explain to my partner why it wasn’t done.

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